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Beyond the Plugin: The Current Sophisticated Digital Landscape of SEO


The dynamic nature of Google’s search algorithms, combined with the dominance of large companies in paid advertising, often leaves small businesses struggling to gain visibility. Despite having a well-designed, conversion-optimized website, the challenge remains: achieving and maintaining a spot on the first page of search results.

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence in search assistance adds another layer of complexity, promising to revolutionize SEO, web presence, and online marketing in ways we can’t yet fully comprehend. Amidst claims of miraculous SEO plugins and quick fixes, it’s important for small business owners to understand that SEO is a complex field. While tools like WordPress SEO plugins can assist with foundational optimization, they are not a complete solution. Achieving visibility requires a more comprehensive approach to SEO, beyond just installing a plugin.

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In the ever-changing landscape of Google search, its algorithms in a continual state of flux, further complicated by pay-to-play paid advertising, the small business owner is often left behind. To compete with huge companies, with budgets to buy their way to page one of search, can seem impossible and sometimes hopeless. Hopefully you’ve built a beautiful website that not only showcases your company, skills and services but is also impactful and converts visitors to customers or clients. Yet the problem remains – how to get to page one of search and stay there as a relevant resource.

Added to the complications is the advent of Artificial Intelligent search assistance that, while in its infancy, will completely transform the web into an interactive digital assistant. This will transform search, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), web presence and impact of online marketing to new entities we cannot yet imagine. For the business owner, it can be overwhelming.

In an era where everyone claims to be a web developer and SEO master who understands plugins that are miraculous, temporary solutions are everywhere. Yet, the problem remains: how can you get your business to show up in the top three results of page one of Google so that your potential customers find your business?

As a small business owner, you may hear that SEO plugins for your WordPress site can improve your visibility, and this is all you need for optimization. These tools can indeed help with the foundational search engine optimization steps needed to improve your website’s visibility; however, they are not a solution to the much bigger problem of getting your website in front of the right eyes. While these tools can be helpful, it is crucial to understand that SEO is a much more sophisticated and complex field than simply installing a plugin and expecting miraculous results.

Search Engine Optimization

Getting to page one of search is a complex and strategic routine that requires not only skill, but also a great deal of strategy, creative ethical techniques that require a great deal of experience and knowledge, and daily routines. SEO is a complex, multifaceted discipline that requires an ongoing, deep understanding of search engine algorithms, adaptation to ongoing updates, understanding of user behaviour and the latest trends in digital marketing. It’s about developing strategy that aligns with technology, trends, and customer needs.

Content that is high quality, unique and useful, which also resonates with your audience, needs to be implemented into a more complete digital strategy and created by humans. While AI enhances all our work, including the writing process, I would never consider it to be a full replacement for useful content.

From a technical perspective, a person with the ability to code needs to go to source code level to optimize the site for the best search representation, speed, and efficiency of code. This doesn’t mean giving up your current CMS, such as WordPress, it means optimizing it fully.

A strong network of reputable backlinks is also needed to give influence where needed, coupled with a powerful keyword strategy, content structure approach, navigation for both bot and human strategies, internal linking and so much more. After building, optimizing, and developing SEO strategies for over twenty years, I could go on and on here, however the key idea is that this is not a one-step solution.

Understanding the Basics of SEO

SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to improve its search ranking and visibility in organic search engine results. Organic search is the key idea here. When a person asks a question, seeks a product solution or searches for ideas, organic search serves results. I have argued for decades that this is the most valuable and important search to rank for. It truly brings the right viewers to your content and website, and if you answer their needs, a customer lead is created. SEO involves numerous strategies, techniques, and tactics that, if implanted correctly will attract more visitors to your website, increase traffic and potential conversions from visitors to customers.

Plugins such as Yoast SEO for WordPress are helpful for the basics. They can enable the easy creation of XML sitemaps, optimizing meta tags, checking readability of a content, and ensuring your social media accounts are associated with your site. While this speeds up the work for some parts of SEO, it is only a foundation and is not a final solution to the problem of ranking high on Google. When it comes to SEO, this is only the beginning.

The Limitations of SEO Plugins

While SEO plugins can be useful tools, they have their limitations. For example, they can’t create high-quality content that is strategically designed to rank high on search and be useful to a reader and potential customer. They can’t earn you reputable backlinks, optimize your website speed or create a powerful keyword strategy. While they can look after the basics of SEO, such as sitemaps and suggest ideas to improve ranking, they are not a one-stop solution.

Google’s algorithms are increasingly sophisticated and prioritize high-quality content that is relevant and well-researched. Plugins can’t write engaging website content that converts readers to clients, create powerful graphics, infographics, or videos to attract readers. Your understanding of your customer, potential customer and competition all come into play here, and that is where human creativity, experience, strategy, and sophistication is needed. AI can enhance the process, but it is not useful by itself without the collaboration with pure ingenuity.

SEO Expert

SEO is a complex and evolving discipline that requires a variety of skills, including technical, creative, and analytical. It's not just about keywords and links; it's about understanding your audience, creating quality content, and providing a seamless user experience. The complexity of SEO is what makes it so fascinating, but it's also what makes it challenging. It's a never-ending learning process, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Sophistication of SEO

Search engine optimization is a truly sophisticated field that requires the creativity of an artist and the strategic skills of the chess player. It’s about understanding the current state of search, understanding an audience, what they are searching for, and methods to provide the best answers for their queries.

It is also about understanding trends in search, updates to algorithms and adaptation to potential future changes. Elements such as voice search, digital assistants and AI-integrated solutions will all impact how websites are developed and content is served, sorted, and ranked. Zero-search content that provides instant answers will be needed, as will more experiential data opportunities beyond video presentations.

Keyword research and strategy is still a powerful and relevant routine for any SEO professional. Identifying the words and phrases your potential customers are using to find products or services like yours is an essential part of any SEO routine. A plugin can suggest keywords based on your content, but it can’t tell you which ones are most relevant for your business in the specific city you are targeting. It also can’t tell you which keywords your competitors are targeting, or supply strategy to beat them.

Ideally, the Internet can be a place where even individual entrepreneurs can find a market space and compete equally against much larger companies with the right strategy.

Professional SEO practitioners work daily on projects, incorporating a deep understanding of search algorithms, a business’s unique selling proposition, ideal customers or clients based on current sales and personas, and experience. Organic search results then reveal the power of this work.

The Importance of Backlinks

Having backlinks connected to your content, or links from other websites that point to your blogs and services is a vote of confidence for Google. This helps you rank more highly and be better regarded by Google’s core algorithm. Some companies will attempt to buy backlinks, but this can result in problems later, if the links come from AI spam sites. It takes much more work than that.

To have the best possible backlinks, a strategic approach is required. This requires creating content that is high quality and uniquely useful or shareable, building relationships with other businesses and influencers in your industry. Sometimes reaching out and asking for a link is another routine to assist in improving your online performance. At Fervid, we have a network of writers across businesses who can assist with this process by publishing articles or blogs related to your services. This is a hands-on routine that needs to be monitored closely. If backlinks are considered spam by Google, they will have to be disavowed, or removed from Google’s ranking factors for your site. No plugin can do this for you.

Technical SEO

This is the most complex element of any optimization of a website. It requires that the SEO expert knows how to write code, to be able to dig into the website infrastructure to improve search engine crawling and indexing. Elements such as making the site secure with HTTPS, improving the loading speed, ensuring the mobile-friendly aspects are working properly and most importantly, presenting the information in a way that Google searches and sorts it efficiently.

Think of it this way. If you are searching for a file in your computer, or on paper, if it is sorted, named correctly and easily found, you will be more likely to access that file more frequently. In the same way, if your website is well-organized with efficient content and navigation hierarchy, and then is presented to Google in the best possible way, it will naturally rank higher.

Measurement of Technical SEO results is a key here, where the expert utilizes in-depth analytics to measure success of changes and adapts them continuously to stay up to date with changes to technology and search algorithms.

The very best person for SEO may also be the person who writes the code for websites and web apps. An SEO plugin may give suggestions, but to do this properly, it takes a great deal of experience and expertise in adjusting the actual code. The platform on which your website is built is also a key factor, since if it is a drag and drop site, it may not give the SEO expert the level of access needed to do this properly. At Fervid Solutions, Technical SEO is our unique specialty that is based on daily research and optimization results across companies with which we work.

The Role of User Experience (UX)

The latest updates to Google’s algorithms all point to promoting websites with powerful user experience. This includes how fast a page loads, the ease of navigation, and mobile-friendly utility.

User Experience is a crucial part of any product or service that focuses on the end-user. Often business owners want to design what they like or prefer, rather than thinking of their customers first. UX does this to encapsulate the entirety of a user’s interaction with a company’s website, services, products, and communications. Beyond aesthetics, this prioritizes intuitive navigation, seamless user journeys, trust, and enjoyment. It employs the artistry of colour, fonts, paragraph lengths and layout, while also clustering information intuitively and strategically. In the end, the goal is to enhance user engagement, boosting satisfaction and driving more potential customers through conversions.

Staying Up to Date with SEO Trends and Technology

While plugins update, the knowledge needed to adapt to the constant changes of search algorithms. This is the most complicated problem that any expert in SEO adapts to daily. Google updates all the time, and when core updates occur, your website could fall to page 5 of search in one day.

A powerful SEO expert will work hard to ensure your keywords rank within a range that is consistent and improving. Adapting to Core Web Vitals, ensuring your content is consistent with the E.A.T requirements, and continually adjusting code to ensure you stay on page one is a key factor. This requires strategic insight, technical ability, fluid intelligence to adapt quickly and foresight to prepare for what is coming, such as Voice Search and the integration of Artificial Intelligence. 

Conclusion: SEO Plugins are just a Tool

SEO plugins are just one more tool in the vast SEO toolkit. They can help with some limited aspects of Search Engine Optimization, and may assist in gaining some organic traffic, but they can’t replace the comprehensive and strategic approach of an expert in the field.

As a business owner, it is important to understand the sophistication of SEO and the limitations of relying solely on plugins to do the job of getting your website and services found online. Experts in the field of SEO can work closely with your business to ensure you are using your website to its optimum purpose of driving traffic, inquiries, and customers to your business. At Fervid Solutions, we develop unique, powerful custom strategies and SEO techniques that are tailored specifically to your business’s unique needs.

Remember, SEO is a long-term investment that takes time to develop but becomes incredibly powerful once it starts to move. There are no quick fixes or one-size-fits-all solutions, but rather a complex set of steps, upgrades and updates that build a strong foundation for your website’s visibility and success in search results.

Contact us today for a website SEO review, and let’s get started!


SEO plugins can assist with foundational optimization tasks such as creating XML sitemaps, optimizing meta tags, and checking content readability. However, they are not a complete solution for achieving visibility. A comprehensive approach to SEO is required beyond just installing a plugin.

Technical SEO is crucial as it involves optimizing the website infrastructure to improve search engine crawling and indexing. This includes making the site secure, improving loading speed, ensuring mobile-friendliness, and presenting information efficiently to search engines.

UX is a key factor in SEO as Google’s algorithms prioritize websites that provide a powerful user experience. This includes factors like page loading speed, ease of navigation, mobile-friendliness, and the overall enjoyment of the user.


While SEO plugins can be useful, they can’t create high-quality content, earn reputable backlinks, optimize website speed, or create a powerful keyword strategy. They can suggest improvements, but the implementation of these suggestions requires a more comprehensive and strategic approach.


SEO is a dynamic field with constantly changing algorithms and technology. Staying up-to-date is essential to adapt to these changes and ensure your website maintains or improves its visibility in search results.


  1. Google Search Central Blog. (2020). Evaluating page experience for a better web. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Jun. 2023].
  2. Moz. (2023). The Beginner’s Guide to SEO. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Jun. 2023].
  3. Search Engine Journal. (2023). Core Web Vitals: A Complete Guide. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Jun. 2023].
  4. Yoast. (2023). The limitations of SEO plugins. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Jun. 2023]. 

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